Col. Phipps was educated at Repton and Oxford and served for many years in the Northamptonshire Regiment. During the First World War he was awarded the Military Cross and mentioned in despatches. After being wounded three times he was put on the Reserve of Officers in the Regular Army. "Phippy" as he was affectionately known, had a deep interest in all canine matters, being a member of the Kennel Club General Purposes Committee and two other Committees of the Ruling Body. He was President of the Kensington Canine Society, an organisation that, alas, is no longer in existence. The title of Master of Foxhounds was earned through his association with three foxhunting packs - the Avon Vale, the Old Berkeley and the Northumberland Hunts.
The prefix TALAVERA was adopted when he joined the Wire Fox Terrier Association in 1923. Due to the quality of the stock he produced, the prefix will forever have a place in the history of the breed. There are not many wire fox terriers today which do not have blood from the famous Ch. Talavera Simon or his son, Romulus, in their pedigree. Col. Phipps owned, or bred, 15 champions. These included, beside the one and only Simon, champions Talavera Marcus, Gamester, Margaret, Ethel, Bishop's Neglected, Newmarket Brandy Snap, Paul, Cynthia, Romulus, Priscilla, Jupiter, David, Nigel and Ch. Stocksmoor Sportsman.
Col. Phipps returned to the army at the beginning of the Second World War and after the conflict was in great demand as a judge of the terrier breeds. He retired to a farm in Kent and remained there until his death in 1958.
A collection of paintings of the Talavera Champion Wires
by kind permission of the Biggs brothers, grandsons of Lt. Col. Phipps
CH Talavera Nigel
Mr. J. A. Brearley of Elland, West Yorkshire, purchased Ch. Talavera Nigel just before the outbreak of the Second World War in order to establish a breeding programme with his foundation bitch who later became his first wire champion - WYREDENE FASHION QUEEN. He moved into wires after having been a very successful exhibitor of rough coated St. Bernards - his stock won over 7,000 awards. Nigel was by Ch. Talavera Jupiter ex Talavera Cleopatra. This dog's show career was described at the time as a blaze of triumph In 1935 he was awarded 9 consecutive challenge certificates! He was offered at stud during the war to a strictly limited number of bitches at a fee of 5 guineas (£5.50) when the average stud dog was on offer at 3 guineas (£3.30).
CH Talavera Romulus
Mr. Brearley purchased Romulus at the same time as he bought Nigel. This dog was already in great demand at stud, being the dog, said by many, to be the father of the modern wire (Ch. Talavera Simon ex Talavera Sparkle). Romulus was a by word in the world of wires at the time as a remarkable producer of winners which fully justified the opinion of the leading authorities in the breed of him being the most outstanding stud force in the country. During the period of hostilities, the showing of dogs was limited to a radius of 25 miles from the show venue and there were no championship shows at all. This dog would have had many champions to his credit if CC's had been on offer. Commanding a stud fee of £5 guineas he was, like Nigel, kept at stud into the mid-1940's so somewhere in the long pedigree of many of today's wire fox terriers the names of Ch. Talavera Romulus and Ch. Talavera Nigel will appear.
The photographs of Romulus and Nigel are reproduced by kind permission of Dog World